It’s final: BGC belongs to Taguig
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Court of Appeals (CA) has ruled that Taguig City is the rightful owner of Fort Bonifacio district, including Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

In a five-page resolution released last week, the special former Sixth Division of the appellate court junked with finality the bid of Makati City to get territorial jurisdiction over Fort Bonifacio.

The CA affirmed its decision last March dismissing Makati’s motion for reconsideration on the ground of forum shopping.

It upheld Taguig’s rightful ownership of the contested estate.

The CA rejected the Makati government’s plea for liberal interpretation and application of the rules on forum shopping.

Makati argued in its appeal that the CA’s decision would have an effect on the political, economic and financial aspects of both Makati and Taguig and their respective constituents.

But the CA disagreed.

“Guided by the Supreme Court (SC)’s categorical and emphatic pronouncements that Makati is guilty of willful and deliberate forum shopping, we reiterate that the dismissal of this appeal is but a necessary legal consequence of Makati’s own acts,” read the ruling penned by Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon.

“It is well-entrenched in this jurisdiction that if the forum shopping is willful and deliberate, both actions should be dismissed without prejudice,” it added.

The CA held that Makati failed to present new arguments that would convince the court to reconsider its decision. 

In its earlier ruling, the CA affirmed the July 2011 decision of the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC), which gave Taguig jurisdiction over the contested area upon the motion of Mayor Lani Cayetano.

In 2013, the CA reversed the RTC decision and ruled that Makati was the rightful owner of the 729-hectare area, prompting Taguig to elevate the case to the SC last year.

The high court has found Makati City guilty of forum shopping after simultaneously appealing the RTC ruling and filing a petition before the CA – both seeking the same relief.

Records showed that when the Pasig RTC ruled in favor of Taguig, Makati filed a motion for reconsideration and at the same time brought the matter before the CA.

The SC held that such actions of Makati not only “vexed courts and an adverse litigant but actually gave rise to conflicting decisions not only between different courts but within the appellate court itself.”

The CA cited this SC decision in ruling in favor of Taguig.

The appellate court held that it has no other recourse but to dismiss Makati’s appeal of the Pasig RTC’s ruling declaring Taguig as the owner of the property.

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